Thursday, March 27

A Long Overdue Thank You

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
Philippians 1:3-5

I want to express my gratitude to you for these past two months. The Lord has granted me great comfort and has poured out immense grace throughout these days, and He has used you to do it. Thank you.

From the concern expressed to the kindness shown to the love displayed toward me, I am forever grateful and appreciate it very much. The Lord has been wonderfully kind to use all that you have been and done for me for my comfort. Thank you.

God has dealt with me in such a merciful way during these recent weeks that I cannot imagine one thing that I would change in an attempt to improve upon what He has done in and for me. He is merciful in all His ways, and though His ways are past finding out, He does all things well.
My attempt to offer thanks via this small note is far too inferior when compared with what you all been for and done for me. Nonetheless, thank you.

God has definitely given me the best fathomable situation for living through these circumstances at this time. Sure, He dealt a heavy blow, but He has not left me alone. Rather, He has kept His loving hand hovered over me, protecting me, comforting me, loving me. What He has provided in family, friends, my church, and the Church worldwide is astounding even now for me to consider. Thank you.

And still the greatest thing that God has done for me was to not spare Christ, but to give Him up for me, so that He may freely give me all things. Not free to Him, it cost Him His Son. But wonderfully free to me.
Samuel Rutherford said it well when he penned these words, "To live on Christ's love is a king's life".

Please accept this 'thank-you' for all that you have done for me.
I do covet your continuing prayers on my behalf, and on behalf of Ellie and Isaac as well.

Thursday, March 20

Ellie & Isaac

These outfits were smocked by Amber this winter.

Wednesday, March 19

Saturday, March 15

St. Patrick's Day


A Slave?

A Missionary?

Do you have any idea who this shamrock fellow was?

Thursday, March 13

If Thou but Suffer God to Guide Thee

If thou but suffer God to guide thee
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trust in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that naught can move.

What can these anxious cares avail thee
These never ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help if thou bewail thee
O’er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.

Be patient and await His leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whatever thy Father’s pleasure
And His discerning love hath sent,
Nor doubt our inmost want are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

God knows full well when time of gladness
Shall be the needful thing for thee.
When He has tried thy soul with sadness
And from all guile has found thee free,
He comes to thee all unaware
And makes thee own His loving care.

Nor think amid the fiery trial
That God hath cast thee off unheard,
That he whose hopes meet no denial
Must surely be of God preferred.
Time passes and much change doth bring
And set a bound to everything.

All are alike before the Highest:
’Tis easy for our God, We know,
To raise thee up, though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low.
True wonders still by Him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to naught.

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
Perform thy duties faithfully,
And trust His Word: though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee.
God never yet forsook in need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.

Georg Neumark

Helpful Hymns

Hymns have been particularly sweet to my soul as of late. Here is one that was sent to me at some point in the last 2 months. The author is John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace.

Begone unbelief, my Savior is near,
And for my relief will surely appear:
By prayer let me wrestle, and He wilt perform,
With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.

Though dark be my way, since He is my Guide,
’Tis mine to obey, ’tis His to provide;
Though cisterns be broken, and creatures all fail,
The Word He has spoken shall surely prevail.

His love in time past forbids me to think
He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink;
Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review,
Confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through.

Determined to save, He watched o’er my path,
When Satan’s blind slave, I sported with death;
And can He have taught me to trust in His Name,
And thus far have brought me, to put me to shame?

Why should I complain of want or distress,
Temptation or pain? He told me no less:
The heirs of salvation, I know from His Word,
Through much tribulation must follow their Lord.

How bitter that cup, no heart can conceive,
Which He drank quite up, that sinners might live!
His way was much rougher, and darker than mine;
Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall I repine?

Since all that I meet shall work for my good,
The bitter is sweet, the medicine is food;
Though painful at present, wilt cease before long,
And then, O! how pleasant, the conqueror’s song!

Tuesday, March 11

Romans 8:28

We often quote this verse, don’t we:

“For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”

But, so often our reciting it is because of our desire to have all things orbiting around us and our assuming that if God is about doing us good we ought to join Him in making all things good for us.

So, what about difficult times? Heartaches? Real Loss?

“Ergo, shipwreck, losses, etc. work together for the good of them that love God. Hence I infer that losses, disappointments, ill-tongues, loss of friends, houses or country, are God's workmen, set on work to work out good to you, out of everything that befalleth you. Let not the Lord's dealing seem harsh, rough, or un-fatherly because it is unpleasant. When the Lord's blessed will bloweth across your desires, it is best, in humility, to strike sail to him, and to be willing to be led any way our Lord pleaseth. It is a point of denial of yourself, to be as if you had not a will, but had made a free disposition of it to God, and had sold it over to him. And to make use of his will for your own is both true holiness, and your ease of peace. You know not what the Lord is working out of this, but you shall know it hereafter."

S. Rutherford

One Office of Christ

"If your Lord calls you to suffering...there shall be a new allowance of the King for you when you come to it... God hath called you to Christ's side, and the wind is now in Christ's face in this land...He delighteth to take up fallen bairns (children) and to mend broken bows: binding up of wounds is his office."

Samuel Rutherford

Monday, March 10

It is well, with my soul

Before reading the well known hymn below,
you should consider the circumstance from which
Horatio Spaford penned these remarkable lines:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Wednesday, March 5

"The Lord is my portion...

...therefore I have hope in Him." Lamentations 3:24

"For your Maker is your husband--the Lord Almighty is his name--the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth." Isaiah 54:5

Thoughts from Octavius Winslow:

How many--appropriate to our circumstances, and endearing to our hearts--are the titles and relations of God! Is there one more sacred or precious to the Christian widow than this--"Your Maker is your HUSBAND." The Lord brings us into a gracious and experimental acquaintance with Himself by the circumstances in which He places us. Just as we learn certain lessons in certain schools, so we learn the relationships which the Lord sustains to us in the positions in life to which those divine relations are the most appropriate. Thus, He may have written you a widow, a "widow indeed," that He might stand to you in a new and more endeared relation--even as you stand to Him in a new and more dependent character--the relation of a HUSBAND--the character of a widow. As such He is your portion. Your bereavement is so crushing, your grief so profound, your desolation so vast, your loss so irreparable, the pen shrinks from even the attempt to describe it. The strong and beautiful staff is broken, the earthly counselor is perished, the tongue is mute that blessed you, the bosom cold that pillowed you, the eye dim that smiled upon you, and the whole landscape of life is draped in wintry coldness and gloom.

But the Lord is your Portion. "For your Maker is your husband--the Lord Almighty is his name." Divorced by death from an earthly husband, you are united more especially and closely to a Divine and heavenly Husband--even to God in Christ, who stands now in a new and more endeared relation to you, as you have now a new and more sacred claim upon Him. The widow is an object of His especial regard. No being has He more closely fenced, none for whom He has discovered more tender care. Listen to some of His touching injunctions respecting you. "You shall not afflict the WIDOW." "Plead for the WIDOW." "He will establish the border of the WIDOW." "He relieves the fatherless and the WIDOW." Such is the divine Portion, under whose sheltering wing you have now come to rest. "Your Maker is your HUSBAND." All, and infinitely more, that the fondest, most powerful, and faithful husband ever was, the Lord is to you. Let Him, as none other can, fill the vacant place. He can make even your solitary and desolate heart sing for joy. Espouse Christ afresh. Renew your 'first love' to Him, the love of your earliest union.

Trace nothing but love in the removal of a human object so dear; and know that love--divine, tender, unchangeable love--will guard, guide, and comfort you until wedded hearts, sundered by death, shall meet to renew a fellowship of love in the glorified presence of Jesus never to be sundered more.

Blessed Jesus! heavenly Husband! let me now be united only and forever to You! Give me Your Spirit to seal the sacred union. Enable me, as enjoined in the word, "to trust in God, and to continue in supplication and prayer night and day, to lodge strangers, to wash the saints' feet, to relieve the afflicted, and diligently to follow every good work" (1 Tim. 5:5, 10). And thus striving by Your grace to glorify You in the solemn character of a God-fearing, God-trusting widow, enable me to rejoice in You as my portion--my Husband--believing that You will shield me in temptation, supply me in need, comfort me in sorrow, be with me in death, and give me a place at the marriage-supper of the Lamb.

In addition to the loneliness of widowhood, there may be the heavy charge and anxious responsibility of the parent. Your children, are half orphans--fatherless. Be it so. You have now a double claim on God's care and provision; and that claim, offered in the prayer of faith, He will acknowledge. His promise is--and on that promise you must rely--"Leave your FATHERLESS CHILDREN, I will preserve them alive--and let your widows trust in me." God will now be, in its fullest sense, your children's Father. He will preserve them alive; in other words, He will provide for the life that now is, and will make them partakers of the life that is to come in the sovereignty of His grace.
Have faith in God! He never yet broke a promise to a saint--He never will to you!

Monday, March 3

Jesus. In verse.

Immortal honors rest on Jesus’ head;
My God, my portion, and my Living Bread;
In Him I live, upon Him cast my care;
He saves from death, destruction, and despair.

He is my Refuge in each deep distress;
The Lord my strength and glorious righteousness;
Through floods and flames He leads me safely on,
And daily makes His sovereign goodness known.

My every need He richly will supply;
Nor will His mercy ever let me die;
In Him there dwells a treasure all divine,
And matchless grace has made that treasure mine.

O that my soul could love and praise Him more,
His beauties trace, His majesty adore;
Live near His heart, upon His bosom lean;
Obey His voice, and all His will esteem.

William Gadsby


He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:15ff

Have you considered recently these amazing attributes that are ascribed to Jesus in this short little paragraph?
According to God, Jesus is everything!
Nothing else compares! It is all about HIM!
His honor, His renown, His reputation, His glory!

Don’t you agree?

However, one does not have to look very far or wide upon this earth to see an apparent contradiction with this passage and with what seems like reality.
Do you see clear evidence of ALL things being created by Jesus?
Is there any evidence of Christ holding all things together by the word of His power?
Is there overwhelming evidence that He is the Head of His church?

Jesus will have first place in everything!
Is this true for you? Really true?
Have you yet to be reconciled to Him?
Has lasting peace been made between you and your creator Who shed His blood to make it happen?